Wheatbelt warning on snake activity


A dugite. Picture: Matt Swan/DPaW
A dugite. Picture: Matt Swan/DPaW

THE Department of Parks and Wildlife is reminding people in the Wheatbelt that snake activity is on the rise now spring weather has arrived.

Wildlife officer Melanie Rowley said snake encounters would increase as reptiles became active in the warmer months.

“Snake sightings will be more prevalent over the next few months in this region and we expect the number of calls from concerned residents who come across a snake will rise sharply,” she said.

“We recommend people take extra care when venturing outdoors, particularly near swamps, lakes and bushland.

“Snakes will normally try to avoid humans, but it is best to be aware and take precautions such as wearing long pants and enclosed shoes while walking along bush trails.”

Ms Rowley said most snakebite occurred when people tried to catch or kill a snake.

She also urged dog owners to be particularly careful when walking their pets near bushland and wetland as dogs rarely survived a venomous snakebite.

“Residents can reduce the risk of having a snake in the backyard by keeping their yards clear of long grass, discarded household rubbish and building materials, which provide snakes with shelter,” she said.

“Outdoor aviaries attract snakes, so keeping the aviaries and surrounding area free from discarded bird seed will deter the snake’s favourite prey items, such as rats and mice.”

She said it was not unusual to find venomous snakes such as dugites and brown snakes in the Wheatbelt.

If you are concerned about a snake on your property, bring your children and pets inside.

You can also contact Parks and Wildlife’s 24-hour Wildcare Helpline on 9474 9055 for details of licensed operators who can safely remove and relocate snakes.